Solar Energy

Solar power is considered one of the cleanest forms of energy production, with no associated fuel costs, air emissions, or waste, and it takes very little water to manufacture. The City of Golden Valley has begun powering some of its buildings with solar and is taking steps to make it more accessible.

Solar arrays on the roofs of several City buildings help increase savings and power operations through renewable energy.

The City entered this venture at no cost through a power-purchase agreement, where third-party investors own the arrays, Sundial Solar maintains them, and the City provides the rooftop space. Golden Valley gets a credit on its energy bills when the arrays on the buildings produce more energy than the buildings need. In 2016 the solar arrays produced 86,300 kWh of electricity, enough to power nine average homes in one year, according to the EPA. This saved the City approximately $3,500 in electric costs and diverted 60.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide that would have otherwise been released into the atmosphere.

Increasing solar energy production helps meet the State’s goal of deriving 25 percent of its electricity from renewable energy resources by 2025 and increases Golden Valley’s resilience to energy supply and price shocks by developing an energy source that is generated and used locally.

What You Can Do

According to the Minnesota Department of Commerce, the typical single family home in Minnesota gets more than enough sunlight to meet its year-round energy needs. If you’re interested in powering more of your energy needs with solar, check out the following resources:

  • Xcel Energy offers options for customers who want to get electricity from local solar energy sources but cannot or do not want to install their own panels.
  • The Department of Commerce has a free online Solar App to assess your property’s solar potential and estimate the time to recover costs depending on power output, electricity consumption, and federal and state incentives.

When you’re ready to install solar panels, fill out and submit applications for City building and electrical permits and call 763-593-8090 to schedule appropriate inspections.

Community Energy Reports